On the Road in Europe – Take 1

by hjanssen on October 28, 2008 11:25am

Today is Tuesday - That must mean I am in Mainz. I am on day 12 of my European trip. I was in Rome and Amsterdam last week.

In Rome I attended the Moodle conference, which was pretty cool. It was put on by Roma Tre and was one of many destinations in which Moodle held conferences this past month. I went to talk to Martin Dougiamas, Helen Foster and Petr Skoda as part of our ongoing quest to get PHP on Windows to be the best experience possible.

The deployment numbers that Martin showed in his presentation are quite impressive!  I have been digging around for his presentation to give these numbers, but I can't find them. I am sure that Martin must have posted his presentation somewhere, I just have not found it yet. 🙂

But the intention was to start a working relationship with the Moodle community, and this was a great start. One of the most interesting presentations was from the Italian Airforce, who described  their experiences in finding better educational tools to train their personnel, and settled on Moodle to be a large part of that. It is always interesting to have a General in the audience.

It is really amazing to see how and where Moodle is used. It is a testament to the intention of Moodle and Martin and the Moodle community that is has become so popular.

The other thing I did was meet with a lot of open source influential's/Government/CTO/Journalists etc. Microsoft Rome asked me to give a bunch of presentations and interviews, which I love to do, but it turned into a 17 hour-long gauntlet. And I just want to go on record and say that I cannot be held accountable for what I talked about the last 4 or so hours of that day. It became a little blurry at that point. 🙂

The bad thing about these trips is that I am away from home for a long period of time. The really good thing about doing these trips is that I get to meet so many people. It is really cool to see the faces and have the dialogues when I talk about what Microsoft is doing in the OS world. By far it is very positive.

But I get the biggest bang for the buck when we have discussions on what people do, and want, from the OS and from Microsoft. We have been doing more and more in the OS world, but unless we work closely with the community we have no idea if we are on the right track.

One of the questions I asked in Rome in a meeting with government officials and OS influential's was ‘what does open source mean to you?' There were many responses, and most of them followed the same line. Some of the common responses where: sharing knowledge, collaboration, personal recognition, information that is easy to get to, allocation of rights, intend to make communications possible.

Well, for the next few days I will be at the IPC in Mainz. So I will blog more tomorrow. There are a lot of things we are doing right now, so I have a lot of content 🙂

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